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Delta knew of Minnesota GOP reps’ coronavirus exposure, went ahead with flight anyway

Plus: mail-in voting for primary was mostly on-time, error free; the Liberian immigrant running as a Republican for state Senate in St. Paul; future of Bde Maka Ska parks concession considered; and more.

A Delta Air Line passenger plane shown taking off from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Well that’s reassuring. For the Thrifty Traveler, Kyle Potter reports: “Three Minnesota Republican congressmen came under fire over the weekend for flying Delta days after their possible exposure to COVID-19 from campaign events with President Donald Trump. But according to an internal memo obtained by Thrifty Traveler, Delta knew the three lawmakers had potentially been exposed to coronavirus and cleared them to fly after a health assessment. … Reps. Pete Stauber, Jim Hagedorn, and Tom Emmer flew from Washington, D.C. (DCA) to Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) on Friday evening, less than a day after Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19. The three Republican congressmen had joined Trump for a rally in Minnesota earlier that week and joined the president on Air Force One.”

Mail-in voting was fine. The Star Tribune’s Jeff Hargarten and Torey Van Oot report: “A record number of Minnesotans are expected to vote by mail in the Nov. 3 general election. Already, more than a million absentee ballots have been requested. The early voting operation has drawn questions and criticism from some lawmakers, advocates and voters, with worries ranging to election security to whether their ballots will arrive by the deadline. … Data from the state’s Aug. 11 primary might provide some reassurance on that last concern. Even with a surge in early voting, relatively few ballots arrived late or were otherwise rejected.

Interesting candidate profile. In Sahan Journal, Joey Peters reports: “Today, Buster Deputie owns his own HVAC business. He’s also active in local politics, running a longshot political campaign for state Senate to represent St. Paul’s East Side. What makes Buster Deputie unusual isn’t just the fact that he’s a Republican: Immigrant voters supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016 by a two-to-one margin, for example. It’s how he makes his immigrant experience central to his conservative platform. … Sporting dreadlocks and a beard, Buster Deputie doesn’t look like a typical Republican Party politician. But his policies align well with the party’s. He supports President Donald J. Trump, police, and gun rights. And he opposes abortion access and unauthorized immigration.”

Pavilion plans pondered. The Southwest Journal’s Andrew Hazzard reports:The effort to rebuild the pavilion at Bde Maka Ska, which burned down in May 2019, is officially underway. … The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) has begun soliciting bids from architecture firms to design a new structure at the former pavilion site. While it’s clear that a facility is desired at the city’s most-visited park space, what form it will take is up for debate.”

In other news…

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